A recent confidential report puts into perspective the value of user data in underground markets. As per the report, user information for popular services such as Netflix and PlayStation Plus sell for prices of $0.25 and $7, respectively, in the network of underground markets. Other services that fall prey to such practices include privilege cards and health services. The report also gives an insight to the overall rate of spam emails, phishing networks and malware.
As per this report, security breaches in the nature of user info leaks is not only commonplace, but has shown constant increase, despite marginal signs of rectification in recent times. For instance, while the overall email spam rate has decreased from 60% to 53%, the number of new malware variants added each year has increased from 317 million in 2014, to 431 million in 2015. Email phishing rate has been brought down from 1 in 965 to 1 in 1,846, although the total number of crypto-ransomware (a trojan horse that lodges into files and asks for a ransom to unlock the data) has gone up from 269,000 in 2014, to 362,000 in 2015. As expected, the number of mobile vulnerabilities have also increased by nearly 214% since last year, although the number of websites with critical vulnerabilities to cyber attacks have reduced from 20% to 15%.
The stream of data released in the Symantec report reinstates the importance of cybersecurity, its immense potential and urgent need in the present day. The slew of attacks have also given rise to the underground market seeing the sale of user info of services as mentioned above, and that is a matter of serious concern that many may be concerned with.